Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards has announced a historic public-private partnership between the state of Louisiana, the Port of New Orleans and two leading maritime companies to build a $1.8 billion state-of-the-art container facility on the Lower Mississippi River.
The new Louisiana International Terminal (LIT), located in St. Bernard Parish, will be able to serve vessels of all sizes, dramatically increasing Louisiana’s import and export capacity and stimulating the creation of more than 17,000 new jobs statewide by 2050, Port NOLA estimates.
New Jersey-based Ports America, one of North America’s largest marine terminal operators, and Geneva, Switzerland-based Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC), the world’s largest container shipping company, through its terminal development and investment arm Terminal Investment Limited (TiL), have committed $800 million toward the project.
Construction of the terminal will also be supported by a substantial commitment from Port NOLA, as well as state and federal funding sources. The joint venture will operate the terminal once construction is complete.
“This public-private partnership with the Port of New Orleans, TiL and Ports America has the potential to become one of the most impactful economic development projects in our state’s history,” Gov. Edwards said.
“It leverages the economic power of our greatest natural resource – the Mississippi River – and enhances Louisiana’s ability to attract new investment from companies competing in the global marketplace. Access to global markets represents expanding opportunities for both urban and rural communities. The powerful impact of this world-class logistics asset will benefit not only residents and businesses in south Louisiana, it will benefit advanced manufacturing, agribusiness and energy workers all across the state.”
The project is currently in the design and permitting phase of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ environmental review process. Barring unforeseen delays, construction is slated to begin in 2025 and the first berth to open in 2028.
At full build-out, LIT will be able to handle 2 million TEUs annually, taking advantage of the deeper 50-foot Lower Mississippi River Ship Channel and avoiding height restrictions from Mississippi River bridges further up river.
The Port of New Orleans in 2020 purchased over 1,200 acres of land in Violet, Louisiana, of which approximately 400 acres will be used for the future container terminal, related infrastructure, and buffer areas.
“Ports America and Terminal Investment Limited are global industry leaders and we value their partnership in the Louisiana International Terminal,” Port NOLA President and CEO Brandy D. Christian said. “This investment, in addition to the billions of dollars the joint venture will contribute over the life of the lease, demonstrates their confidence in our gateway’s ability to serve vessels of all sizes, while creating jobs and opportunity for Louisiana.”
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